IDC Ranks IBM Tops in Middleware

IBM announces that industry analyst firm IDC has ranked the systems giant as the worldwide leader in the middleware software market, beating out its closest competitor, Oracle.

IBM has announced that industry analyst firm IDC has ranked the systems giant as the worldwide leader in the middleware software market.

According to IDC, in 2009 IBM was the leading worldwide application deployment software vendor with 31.9 percent of the market based on revenue. That was nearly double that of its closest competitor-Oracle. IDC's study also showed that IBM's middleware business grew 4.7 percent year over year, more than double the rate of the overall market, which grew at 2.2 percent to more than $14.8 billion.

This marks the tenth consecutive year that IDC has named IBM as the market share leader in the worldwide application deployment software market.

The IDC study also indicated that besides its overall lead, IBM holds the No. 1 market share position in key submarkets such as application server software platforms and integration and process automation middleware. For example, the process automation middleware segment grew at 4.8 percent in 2009. IBM was named the No. 1 vendor in process automation middleware with a 16 percent share and growing at more than 16.5 percent in 2009. Process automation software enables companies to remove costly inefficiencies, boost productivity, ensure compliance and manage processes more effectively.

Also according to IDC, IBM continued to lead in other areas, including enterprise service bus/connectivity, event-driven middleware and other application server middleware.

IDC is not alone in its positioning of IBM. The IDC report mirrors a recent Gartner study that also named IBM the leader in middleware. As IBM Chairman Sam Palmisano has often stated, IBM's software portfolio is built around high-growth, higher-value areas such as business analytics, business process management and data center management. IBM's strategy of delivering software to help clients build more valuable IT systems appears to be paying off, with the company nearly doubling its revenue over the past 10 years to $22 billion and tripling its profits-driving $8 billion in profits in 2009 alone.

Moreover, IBM claims to have taken orders from more than 450 companies seeking to migrate from their Oracle middleware in the last 18 months. And the company claims to have won contracts from more than 100 former Sun Microsystems customers moving to IBM in the last quarter. These claims, along with the IDC and Gartner rankings, seem to fly in the face of Oracle messaging about being No. 1 in middleware, as IBM and Oracle continue to duke it out in this market.

The IDC study, "Worldwide Application Deployment Software 2009 Vendor Shares" (IDC #223504), examines the application deployment software market and submarkets for 2005-2009.